Best Winter Jackets for Working Outside
During the cold winter season, wearing the right clothing is everything. Having a proper winter jacket is especially important. An ordinary winter coat or jacket will get you from Point A to Point B, but what if you need to spend time outdoors? Whether you are working in the yard or performing manual labor at a jobsite, you need a jacket that will hold up over extended periods of time. Let’s look at how to find the best winter jacket and the five best options on the market.
What to Look For in a Winter Jacket
When you’re going to be working outside, wearing the proper jacket could mean the difference between getting the job done and having to stop due to cold or even illness. Not being bundled up properly could lead to catching colds or pneumonia, which could put you in the hospital. In extreme conditions, you could even become hypothermic, which could become life-threatening. These conditions can cost you valuable time and money.
Obviously, staying warm is the main goal. But a winter jacket should also offer flexibility. After all, it doesn’t do you much good if you can’t move in it, right? The jacket should allow you to move freely without restricting anything or compromising warmth.
Another important feature is the ability to keep out moisture. Typically, winter weather involves more than just cold temperatures – there’s also rain and snow trying to impede everything you do. If the jacket absorbs this moisture, you’ll feel it on the inside, and catch colds and illnesses from prolonged exposure. Not to mention, a wet jacket is not very easy to move around in. This means that any benefits the jacket offered while dry are negated once it gets wet. The best winter jackets are those that have moisture wicking capabilities.
The 5 Best Winter Jackets for Working Outside:
Dickies is well-known for their affordable, yet high-quality, winter wear and workwear. They don’t disappoint with their Diamond Quilted Jacket. It is made of 100 percent nylon with a polyurethane coating. The lining is quilted jersey knit, which keeps you extra warm in low temperatures. A rib knit on the collar, cuffs, and back waist keeps your neck, wrists, and back comfy. There are oversize pockets for stashing items or idle hands and sleeves that are fitted so they don’t get caught in anything. The jacket is water resistant and repellent, helping you to stay dry in any condition.
- The combination of nylon and fleece makes the jacket very warm, comfortable, and lightweight.
- Oversized pockets can keep your hands warm during idle moments (you need to take breaks, don’t you?) or hold items like small tools or your phone, so you can access them easily.
- Fitted sleeves stay out of the way of machinery and tools. They also reduce the air getting into the jacket, so you stay warmer.
- The jacket’s DWR finish makes it water resistant and water repellent. Rain and snow will simply slide off the jacket, rather than being absorbed into the inside.
- The jacket is machine washable, so no special care is needed.
- It features a front zipper – no struggling to pull the jacket on or off.
- This jacket’s poly blend would not fare well in an environment where there are open flames present, such as in a factory or near a fireplace. Take the jacket off before approaching these areas.
- It becomes quite warm once you head indoors or during warmer weather. It’s purely a winter jacket and would not be suitable for spring or summer weather. Those in warmer climates would not find it useful, either.
- The fitted sleeves and fleece lining drag against sweaters and winter shirts underneath the jacket, making it difficult to put on and take off the jacket.
- The jacket can feel a bit tight around the waist due to how the pockets are stitched.
Helly Hansen integrates their own technology into their Chelsea Waterproof Shell Jacket. Their Helly Tech fabric, made of 100 percent polyester, is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. The jacket features Cordura reinforcements at the shoulders, elbows, and sleeves for durability. It also has reflective tape at the shoulders and ends of sleeves, which increase safety. The front zipper is waterproof and has venting properties, which regulate temperatures inside the jacket and cool you down if it becomes too warm. Under-arm zippers serve the same purpose. A storm flap in the front provides protection in extreme conditions, and an attached hood protects you from rain and snow. The inside of the jacket has mesh for comfort and breathability. Articulated sleeves allow you to move easily.
- The Helly Tech makes the jacket waterproof, windproof, and breathable. This keeps you dry and comfortable all day.
- Reinforcements at the shoulders, elbows, and sleeves make the jacket very durable and long-lasting.
- Reflective tape keeps you visible to vehicles and other workers, which increases safety in low-visibility conditions.
- There are several zippers: front, chest, and under-arm zippers. Each of them keeps water out and regulates temperatures, keeping you from getting too warm.
- Protection from the elements is provided by a hood in the back and storm flap in the front.
- Mesh on the inside keeps you comfort.
- The sleeves are very flexible, allowing you to move with ease.
- The jacket is machine washable.
- All those extra features can make the jacket feel a bit bulky sometimes.
- The sleeves can run too long, even when the rest of the jacket fits perfectly.
Carhartt’s Full Swing Caldwell Jacket is a soft, flexible, and durable option. It is made of 10-ounce stretch sandstone, 98 percent cotton, and two percent spandex, which gives it more stretch. A back bi-swing between the shoulders and flex elbows give it even more flexibility. Insulation is provided by thinsulate and nylon taffeta quilting. Reinforced cuffs and hem make it durable. Storm flaps on both the inside and outside of the jacket offer protection from extreme conditions. A freedom gusset under the arms keeps the jacket from riding up during activity. The front is secured with a snap closure. The jacket features a corduroy collar and internal rib-knit storm cuffs. There are three pockets on the outside: two in the lower front and one left-chest pocket with a zipper. There are also two inner pockets. Design features include a drop tail hem and a bottom hem bungee. There is a detachable hood which snaps under the collar, and the main seams are triple-stitched for durability. The jacket isn’t waterproof, but it is capable of repelling some water.
- Stretch and elasticity are provided by the stretch sandstone construction featuring two percent spandex, back bi-swing, and flex elbows. These features allow you to complete even strenuous tasks without feeling restricted.
- The jacket is mostly cotton and features nylon taffeta quilting on the inside, making it very soft and comfortable.
- The jacket is insulated using specialized 80-gram 3M thinsulate. This keeps you warm under any condition. The hood is also insulated.
- Triple-stitched main seams and reinforced cuffs and hem lend durability to the jacket, making it last for a long time.
- Storm flaps and storm cuffs help to offer protection from the elements. The storm flaps can be found on both the outside and inside of the jacket.
- The hood protects you from rain. If you find it bulky or don’t need it, you can detach it using the snaps under the collar.
- The front snap closure is easy and convenient.
- The freedom gusset under the arms keeps the jacket from riding up, keeping it secure during any type of work.
- There are five pockets total to keep small items safe or keep your hands warm.
- The bottom hem bungee allows you to tighten the bottom of the jacket, which cuts off airflow and keeps you even warmer.
- The jacket is machine washable.
- The jacket is not waterproof. It can only repel minimal amounts of water. Though it has a hood to protect you from rain, it is not meant for extended periods in rainy weather and will absorb the water.
- It’s not meant for warmer weather, either. The cotton and quilted lining will make you too hot during warmer seasons.
- The jacket can run short in length.
The Timberland Pro Baluster Work Jacket is water-repellent, insulated, and durable, but it’s not elaborate. It uses a simple, minimal design and is built to be rugged – it’s a jacket to get work done in. It’s made of 100 percent cotton. The trim is a cotton and nylon blend, and the lining is 100 percent nylon. A water-repellent finish helps to keep you dry, though it’s not totally waterproof. The nylon lining is quilted to keep you warm and the stand-up collar keeps the chill of the wind away from your neck. The jacket has extra insulation in the chest and back areas, and milder insulation in the arms. There are five pockets to store essential items in: two chest pockets with zippers, two lower front pockets, and one inside chest pocket with a hook and loop closure. The cuffs are adjustable to keep cold air out.
- The cotton construction is built to be rugged and warm.
- The lining is quilted and durable, keeping you warm for a long time.
- Warmth is also provided by the stand-up collar, zoned Thermolite insulation, and adjustable cuffs.
- Five pockets keep your hands warm and small items secure.
- The jacket is machine washable, with no fading or damage to zippers.
- It is very lightweight.
- The water-repellent finish helps to keep you dry.
- The jacket tends to fit loose in the stomach area. It doesn’t seem to be intended for those who are slender or slim.
- Though it repels water, it is not completely waterproof.
The Arcteryx Ceres Jacket is windproof, water-resistant, and breathable. The jacket uses a system for insulation and warmth: it places synthetic insulation in spots where moisture is likely to build up and down material in areas that need to be the warmest. Stitching is protected from wear and tear using tuck stitching. The jacket is secured by a full-front two-way separating front zipper that features a chin guard and wind flap. The Storm Hood is insulated with down and offers protection from the elements without compromising visibility. There are six pockets on this jacket: two in the front for cold hands, one chest pocket with a zipper, one pocket on the inside with a zipper, and two mesh pockets. The cuffs are elastic, the waist is adjustable, and the hem features drawcords.
- The combination of insulation and down material makes this jacket very warm.
- Tuck stitching makes it durable.
- The jacket is water-resistant.
- The full-front two-way separating front zipper is secure and functional.
- The chin guard and wind flap protect you from the wind.
- The Storm Hood is warm and protects you from both wind and rain.
- Six pockets allow you to store many small items and warm your hands at the same time.
- Elastic cuffs, and adjustable waist, and drawcords on the hem keep cold air out and warm air in.
- This is a heavy-duty jacket, ideal for cold temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit and lower.
- The jacket is water-resistant but not waterproof.
- It’s not recommended for temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Those in warmer climates should purchase a lighter jacket.
- The neck opening can seem too large, allowing cold air to come in.
- The chin guard is not snug or made of soft materials, making it uncomfortable.
- The hood is large enough for a helmet, but if you’re not wearing a helmet, it’s too large and lets too much air in. The tension cords don’t seem to help.
- The jacket is bulky and doesn’t fold up easily.
- The cuffs are elastic, but they don’t tighten if they’re too loose.
Which One is Right for You?
The right winter jacket is essential for working outside in winter weather. Dickies and Timberland offer lightweight options. Durability can be found with the Helly Hansen, Carhartt, and Timberland jackets. Those working in rainy conditions might opt for the Dickies and Helly Hansen versions. The choice is up to you – one of these jackets is sure to get you through the winter season!